05/03/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Forest Fire Report: Warmer Temperatures, Drought Affect Forest Fire Risk

A new report by four forest ecologists says climate rather than beetles is the main cause of forest fire risk, and that risk is best addressed by creating defensible spaces around homes instead of logging in the backcountry.

The report, available at, was prepared on behalf of the nonprofit National Center for Conservation Science and Policy and is based on a scientific literature review. It questions the worth of a proposed Colorado rule that would allow for limited logging in roadless portions of national forests for purposes that include protecting communities and municipal watersheds from fires and the spread of insects and disease in trees.

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